The Sword of Truth, by Terry Goodkind follows the trials and tribulation of Richard Cipher through countless adventures. This is one of my favorite series hands down. The general philosophical underpinnings of the Sword of Truth series do tend to scare me a bit but are ultimately justified in the context of the world the Mr. Goodkind created. Think of a world completely overtaken by an abysmal failure of pseudo communism in which the apparatchik rule all and mankind sullenly accepts its well deserved suffering. The only solution is brutal honesty with a good backing of military might, and Richard has more than enough to go around.
They recently spun off a televised mini-series from the first novel that moved me to tears, in a bad way. Maybe its because after reading the book there is no way, short of a three hour hollywood blockbuster (per episode), that you can capture the entirety of the story line. It really is well crafted and the plot twists escape you till the last minute.
Terry Goodkind is a master of delving deep into his characters' psyches and coming out with something that resonates with the reader. The most memorable part of the whole Sword of Truth series, in my opinion, is when Richard is capture by a Mord Sith, and tortured for months on end. Those were a twisted few chapters that made me think that Terry Goodkind should have switched to the Horror/Thriller genre.
The system of magic always seemed to lack something, but that's mostly because it isn't the main focus. Richard wields his power not through knowledge but through instinct and desire. The reader is left hanging, waiting for him to discover the actual technical knowledge that will allow him to defeat his enemies, but after ten books it turns out not to be needed. This is epic fantasy at its finest, with larger than life characters, arch villains, world shattering magic, and true love!
One thing which always nagged me was the preachiness factor of the books. It seemed every time Terry Goodkind was at a loss of substantive plot development he would fall back on the old chapter-long philosophical monologues. Did anyone else that read the series get this feeling? I know there is a lot of funny hate out there on other blogs for Mr. Goodking but I believe that a lot of it is undeserved.
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